Vaccine for Zika Virus patented in Hyderabad
WHO (World Health Organization) has declared Zika Virus a public health emergency of international concern. This designation was previously applied to Ebola during the 2014-15 outbreak.
This virus, that is spread through mosquitoes of the Aedes genus (the same mosquito that spreads dengue), poses a huge threat to pregnant women. Adults who contract Zika generally have mild symptoms like fever, joint pain or headaches. But, a pregnant woman who contracts it can pass it to the foetus leading to microcephaly, a condition where a baby’s head and brain don’t develop.
Originated in Uganda in 1947, Zika’s link to birth related defects was identified recently in 2015. Recently, there has been a huge rise in cases of microcephaly in babies in Brazil. There have also been cases of Zika virus being reported in America.
While this is a huge concern and cause for worry, scientists in Hyderabad have reported to develop the world’s first vaccine against the Zika Virus. Bharat Biotech International Limited claims to have filed a vaccine candidate patent. This could be a ray of hope for people in the affected areas. This vaccine, if brought out into the market soon, could help prevent Zika from spreading. Also, this could be a huge milestone for the Indian medical industry.